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Interleukin-1 blockade along with hypothermia to prevent cerebral palsy arising from refractory neonatal asphyxia

Principal Investigator:
  • Mathilde Chevin, McGill University Health Centre
  • McGill University

Project Overview

Neonatal asphyxia and subsequent cerebral palsy (CP) is a severe pathology resulting from lack of oxygen and/or infection-inflammation. This disease still leads to mortality or severe brain injuries and long-term disabilities. Therapeutic hypothermia (decreased body temperature to 33-34°C during 3 days) is the only treatment available for these newborns. Despite hypothermia treatment, more than 50% of these newborns present neurological sequelae. This highlights the need to look for new neuroprotective treatments. This project tests the hypothesis of the efficacy of a targeted anti-inflammatory compound (namely, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, blocking the action of a key natural inflammatory molecule called interleukin-1 (IL-1)) combined with hypothermia to prevent neonatal cerebral injuries resulting from lack of oxygen and/or infection around birth. The results will provide a better understanding about harmful interactions between the immune and nervous systems. This project will pave the way towards new therapeutic avenues to prevent CP.